Most helpful positive review
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
thorough reference with tons of photos
on August 21, 2005
In planning my garden I have scoured the web for photos of different shrubs and trees for their habit, in flower, in fall, etc. As I am not a professional, buying the Horticopia photo library is hard for me to rationalize. Buying this DVD was not-
Dirr gives lots of practical information on placement, habit, propagation, landscape value, and disease problems associated with numerous varieties and cultivars of each plant, and the DVD is sitting in my computer's drive all the time. The range of photos (both close-ups and habit shots, buds, stem, bark, leaves, flowers, diseases, fall color, winter habit, etc.) is very useful and the specific information on culture, growth rates, berries and seeds (and where they are attractive vs. where they can linger and become ugly) which zones the plant is marginal in or zones where fall color is best, etc. is very helpful. For the curious, he lists many additional research articles on the finer points of some cultivars. While for choosing the right magnolia, for example, I am still desiring a separate book on the many cultivars, and I have had the darndest time trying to locate anywhere a picture of Hamamelis Jelena in its summer leafed-out habit-- this is still what I turn to far and above any other book or source in my possession for plants information. While this won't substitute for going to arboretums and nurseries to window-shop in person (and it would be a little sad if it could...), it is the handiest reference I've come across. Searchable database feature lets you look for plants by characteristics (light, color, etc.) or by scientific or common name. For the price, I would buy this instead of Dirr's encyclopedia (or in addition to it). I am happy to have both but now refer to the DVD more often.